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East Bay Small Business Fair

Today, I attended an East Bay Small Business Fair after accepting an invitation from Betty T. Yee, Chairwoman State Board of Equalization (the *tax* people) and California State University, East Bay. The Fair was held at the Hayward campus. The start of the programs was delayed by 1/2 hour, since many of the participants and some of the speakers were delayed by the police investigation of body parts strewn over about a third of a mile of I-880 this morning, which closed one direction of the highway.

There were a lot of participants, including the IRS and the Franchise Tax Board (more tax people), the Employment Development Department, the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocates, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of Cal State East Bay, the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) East Bay Chapter, the Alameda County GSA – Business Outreach & Compliance Office, and other representatives of city, county, state, and federal organizations.

There were two tracks: one for starting a business and one for growing a business. Topics of the parallel sessions ranged from legal aspects of starting a business, financing and planning a business, sales and use taxes, home-based businesses, record keeping, and international trade.

If you choose not to risk your personal assets with a sole proprietorship and opt to go with an LLC or a corporation status for your business, California levies a flat tax of around $800/year, initially due a few months after startup, to distinguish your business from a hobby :-) . The tax information that was presented by folks at the Fair today was quite useful, as were the questions from the large audience of attendees. There were also two rooms of booths with many pamphlets, tax information sheets, and CDs of small business information.

Cal State East Bay and the East Bay in general seem to be doing a lot to promote small business. I know it is to increase tax revenues, but it is helpful nevertheless.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo

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